IDU Forums bring together policy makers, senior party officials, and thought leaders from our global membership and beyond. IDU gatherings allow an open exchange and vigorous debates in a unique environment among like-minded partners committed to shared values of freedom and democracy.
Our Forums create value for participants by building relationships, discussing policy challenges, sharing best practices for campaigning and governing, and supporting parties in emerging democracies.
The IDU holds two Forums annually: our marquee IDU Forum in Washington, D.C. and a regionally focused Forum that alternates location. At our past Forums the IDU was deeply honoured to host high-level participants such as Chilean President Pinera, Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Former Taoiseach of Ireland Enda Kenny, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, U.S. Senators Romney, Young, Barrasso, and Toomey, and many others.
IDU Forums have a rich program of distinguished speakers from around the world. Stay tuned for our 2023 program details.
IDU Forums welcome an abundant number of insightful speakers who are helping to shape the global conversation.
The Bush-Thatcher Award for Freedom
The IDU, the world’s global alliance of the centre-right, created the Bush-Thatcher Award for Freedom as the IDU’s highest honour. This award bears the name of two of the IDU’s principal founders, both historic leaders of their time, whose legacies embody the IDU’s core mission of supporting freedom and democracy globally: President George H.W. Bush and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. President Bush and Prime Minister Thatcher led the creation of the IDU in 1983 and were signatories to the London Declaration, the document that brought the IDU into existence. The IDU’s Bush-Thatcher Award for Freedom recognizes outstanding contributions made by an IDU member-party or individual towards advancing the core values for which the IDU stands; freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The IDU is deeply grateful to the custodians of President Bush and Prime Minister Thatcher’s legacies for their collaboration in establishing this honour.
At the IDU Forum 2019 Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony held December 5th, 2019 in Washington, D.C., IDU Chairman Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister, announced the recipient of the inaugural Bush-Thatcher Freedom Award was the Maldivian Democratic Party for their tremendous accomplishment in restoring freedom and democracy to the Maldives.
At the virtual IDU Forum 2020, the Bush-Thatcher Award for Freedom recipient was Presidential Candidate and Vice-Chairman of the CHADEMA Party Tundu Lissu. The Award was presented by IDU Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament David McAllister to the leadership of the main opposition party, CHADEMA, for fighting for a democratic and free Tanzania. Having survived an assassination attempt in September 2017, Mr. Lissu has lived in exile in Belgium since January 2018, where the award ceremony took place.
The 2021 recipient of the Bush Thatcher Award for Freedom was the President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu and the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS). Preserving her country’s young democracy while fighting endemic corruption, modernizing Moldova’s economy and turning its focus towards the European Union and away from Russia, Sandu is the country’s most serious reform-minded leader since the break-away from Soviet Union three decades ago.
The 2022 recipients of the Bush Thatcher Award for Freedom were the 5th President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. Both President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko have been tireless fighters for Ukrainian freedom in the face of the brutal and unprovoked Russian invasion of their country. We were pleased to honor their parties, European Solidarity and Batkivshchyna.
In 2020, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya fulfilled the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people by defeating Lukashebko in a legitimate democratic election, only to be denied her rightful place as the leader of her people. On December 6, H.E. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya accepted the Bush-Thatcher Award for Freedom at the IDU Forum Washington D.C. The IDU is grateful for her continued dedication to the democratic voice of the Belarusian people.
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Past IDU Forums
On June 19-21, the IDU celebrated its 40th anniversary in London with a three-day conference. Delegates from member-parties and distinguished guests reflected on the IDU’s four decades of uniting conservatives and promoting freedom and democracy around the world.
On December 6-9, the IDU brought together thought leaders from across the globe to discuss how our member parties can best support democratic countries around the globe against authoritarian aggression, including, most importantly, our friends in Ukraine.